Yates died on January 22, 2012 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. He had a stroke two and a half years earlier and had been confined to bed and chair since then. He was able to look at a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean from his bed or chair, and watch the sun set over the water. Yates' parents were B. Ford and Gladys Hallam. He was born in Baltimore in 1935 and grew up in District Heights, Maryland. He went to Woodward School, a block away from the Whitehouse in Washington, D.C., frequently seeing Harry Truman walking without much of a secret service presence. One of his teachers told him about Antioch and the coop program appealed.
He majored in accounting and loved his coop jobs doing audits of paper mills, department stores and other businesses in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the winter. His expense account covered all his living expenses and he saved his earnings for tuition. He met his wife, Charlotte Boyd Hallam -'60, in a public speaking class, addressing its members on the possibility of the South rising again and how to catch and cook Chesapeake Bay crabs. They later took Morris Keeton's class in reflective thinking and started dating. They were married in 1959. Yates tried law school at University of Virginia where he took on the role of a confirmed Yankee, but he did not like the subject matter aside from business and tax law. He left and did graduate work in accounting at Ohio State University and later American University. He entered the Air National Guard and was later "activated" for eleven months during the Berlin Crisis. His unit was sent to Niagara Falls, New York to provide weather service at the air base and, he said, defend the border against the Canadians.
He did some private accounting for people who sometimes brought their year's business papers in a couple of paper bags at tax time and eventually became the chief financial officer of the Ford Lumber Companies in Maryland. He served on the board of the Prince Georges Savings Bank, a bank which checked the credit of its borrowers and hasn't had to forclose on its customer's loans. He retired in 1990 when he and Charlotte moved to Vashon Island, Washington. While there he was the treasurer for Vashon Island Allied Arts. Later they moved to San Jose and eventually Carmel, California.
Having grown up in a family with boats, he and Charlotte started with a row boat and eventually bought an Alberg 30 sailboat which they sailed on the Chesapeake Bay for many years. He was elected Commodore of the Chesapeake Bay Alberg 30 One-Design Association, and served many years as the membership chairman. They sailed in the Caribbean, in Maine and from Cape May, N.J. to Block Island, Rhode Island with friends.
Yates was known for his sense of humor and reliability. He was a close friend of Joe Cali, with whom he shared a fondness for classical music. Memorial gifts may be made to the Joe Cali Library Materials Endowed Fund at Antioch College.